On Tuesday, President Joe Biden made it official — he is running for re-election in 2024.
In his announcement video, which promptly went viral, the president discussed what was at stake in this upcoming election, including whether Americans will have “more rights or fewer” — and nothing less than the future of our democracy itself.
“This is our moment,” our 46th president states at the video’s conclusion.
I couldn’t agree more.
Pundits, prognosticators and cynics may be focused on a specific aesthetic involving his 2024 campaign — the president’s age.
It’s no secret: At 80, President Biden is our nation’s oldest president. If re-elected, he would be 86 years old at the conclusion of his second term.
For some, this fact has become the entire conversation and focus regarding his campaign.
But to me, such chatter is superficial (even ageist) and completely overlooks the gravity of this moment.
Not only does President Biden have a competent and inspiring running mate in our Vice President Kamala Harris — the first ever woman Vice President in our nation’s history, as well as the first Black Vice President — he has exhibited a tenacity and work ethic as president that arguably rivals many of his younger counterparts.
He has achieved a remarkable amount legislatively for a first-term president with a relatively thin party majority in Congress. This performance has included the passing of a groundbreaking infrastructure bill. In addition, his party achieved a comparatively impressive finish in the 2022 midterms, in which Democrats did much better than a president’s party usually does during a midterm year. The Democrats maintained and expanded their majority in the Senate.
But arguably and most importantly, the president understands the threat posed by his political adversaries on the right, notably the “MAGA Movement,” which has seemingly overtaken the other major political party in this country.
“MAGA” is a threat to communities of color — particularly the Black community — with the racism it openly abides, promotes and perpetuates.
We saw it on full display in Tennessee recently when two young Black legislators were singled out for expulsion from the chamber by their white, MAGA-sympathizing counterparts. This incident occurred despite their white peer Rep. Gloria Johnson’s participation in the same protests.
And we see it in this faction’s attacks on “wokeness” — which is really code for anything promoting inclusion, diversity and equity — that have focused heavily on censoring American history in our schools, including the uncensored teaching of Black history and the struggles Black Americans have faced, and still actively confront, in our nation.
And although President Biden’s likely opponent appears by most indications to once again be Donald Trump, “MAGA” and Trumpism are not even limited to him.
All of the Republicans with a halfway realistic shot at competing with Trump in the Republican primary, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, echo those same MAGA sentiments and demonstrate the same callous disregard for our communities as Trump did and does.
Governor DeSantis has even made “Stop Woke” his entire political brand!
And they have all committed themselves to making voting in America as difficult as possible, promoting draconian legislation that would have a particularly negative impact on Black Americans and other communities of color.
So no matter who the Republicans choose to be their standard bearer for 2024, the choice is still the same: it’s either the continuation of the progress made under the Biden-Harris Administration or the “MAGA” Republican way, where it is harder for us to vote, where we have fewer rights than before and where our lived history and experiences are erased from our children’s textbooks.
As a Black American, an American who values our democracy above all else, the choice to me is obvious.
Four more years of President Biden and Vice-President Harris.
I am excited to support the president and the ticket that has demonstrated that it can beat back the extremist movement that has taken hold of our national politics — because it did it before, in 2020.
And I cannot wait to participate in the Democratic National Convention when it comes to Chicago in August 2024.
Please join me in supporting this president and this ticket.
The stakes are too high in this election to sit it out or to fantasize about some phantom alternative candidate on the basis of something superficial, like age.
Please use your vote, which is your voice, because nothing less than the future of our communities — and our very democracy — is at stake.